Manchester Metropolitan University's Research Repository

    'You want to be swept up in it all': Illuminating the erotic in BDSM.

    Turley, EL and King, N (2018) 'You want to be swept up in it all': Illuminating the erotic in BDSM. In: Qualitative Methods in Psychology Conference, 02 September 2013 - 05 September 2013, University of Huddersfield.


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    This research aims to understand the eroticism of consensual bondage, discipline, dominance & submission and sadism & masochism (BDSM). Eroticism is considered a central feature of most sexual experiences, yet there is limited research that examines erotic components of BDSM as lived by practitioners themselves. By adopting an experiential approach to the study using phenomenological psychology, the lived experiences of BDSM practitioners were foregrounded in order to clarify erotic meanings and extend existing understandings of consensual BDSM. Nine frequent practitioners of consensual BDSM were interviewed, discussing specific accounts of their BDSM experiences. Template analysis was utilised to analyse data, within an interpretive phenomenological framework. Findings illustrated that one of the most important erotic aspects was the co-collaboration between practitioners in order to create, maintain and engage with the erotic fantasy. The unpacking of the complexity of eroticised power exchange that occurred when BDSM practitioners adopted their sexual roles was also an important finding to emerge from the analysis.

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